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50% support decriminalizing marijuana: poll
The Ottawa Citizen ^ | January 02, 2003 | Janice Tibbetts

Posted on 01/03/2003 9:58:54 AM PST by MrLeRoy

Half of Canadians want the federal government to decriminalize possession of marijuana, and support for relaxed laws is not confined to the young.

The new survey comes at a time when Justice Minister Martin Cauchon says he is going to remove simple marijuana possession from the Criminal Code, but his boss, Prime Minister Jean Chr?tien, isn't sure.

"It certainly says that we are a relatively liberal society on this issue," said Toronto pollster Michael Sullivan.

The U.S. has also warned against decriminalization, saying Canada should get over its "reefer madness" if it doesn't want to face the wrath of its largest trading partner.

The survey of 1,400 adult Canadians showed 50 per cent either strongly or somewhat support decriminalization, while 47 per cent are somewhat or strongly opposed.

The poll was conducted in early November for Maclean's magazine, Global TV and Southam News by the Strategic Counsel, a Toronto-based polling firm. The results are considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The survey showed 53 per cent of Canadians under 40 support looser laws, while 48 per cent of people aged 40 and older want to see marijuana decriminalized.

Mr. Sullivan said there was less of an age gap than there is on other social issues, such as gay marriage and gay adoption.

"I guess we should think that marijuana smoking in general started in the 1960s so a lot of people now who are 40 plus are people who may have tried marijuana in the 60s," he said.

The survey also revealed men are more likely than women to favour relaxed laws and support is strongest among people with money. Fifty-three per cent of men said the government should act, compared to 48 per cent of women.

The findings are different than they are for most social issues, in which women tend to be more liberal than men, Mr. Sullivan said.

Support for looser laws also increased with income. Of those earning more than $100,000, 59 per cent want marijuana decriminalized. The pollsters speculated support is driven by education and affordability.

But the pollsters warned the government should proceed with caution because the results show almost half of Canadians oppose any law changes.

"This isn't 70 or 80 per cent saying let's do it, but it certainly suggests that this is something that should be vigorously debated and as you get more information, let's see where people stand on it," said Mr. Sullivan.

The poll results show British Columbia leads the pack of supporters, with 56 per cent in favour. Support in Ontario registered at 51 per cent, while 48 per cent of Albertans and Quebecers reported favouring looser laws. Support was lowest in Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada, at 46 per cent in favour.

The Strategic Council did not ask Canadians whether they support legalization of marijuana. Rather the survey dealt with decriminalization, which would still make possession illegal, but people caught would be given a fine akin to a parking ticket rather than saddled with a criminal record.

But Mr. Sullivan suspects many of those surveyed did not distinguish between decriminalization and legalization.

Mr. Cauchon has rejected legalization, which was recommended by a Senate committee last summer, saying society still wants some sort of punishment for marijuana smokers.


TOPICS: Canada; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: headlinefraud; marijuana; misleading; pot; wod; wodlist
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1 posted on 01/03/2003 9:58:54 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: *Wod_list
Wod_list ping
2 posted on 01/03/2003 9:59:28 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: MrLeRoy
Update:

Yesterday an Ontario judge threw out a possession charge against a 16-year-old, which many are now saying ALREADY sets a precedent for decriminalized pot.
3 posted on 01/03/2003 10:01:59 AM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: MrLeRoy
"It certainly says that we are a relatively liberal society on this issue," said Toronto pollster Michael Sullivan.

Yup. The more liberal you are the more you want to legalize drugs. It's a liberal issue.

4 posted on 01/03/2003 10:05:54 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC
I'm all in favor of letting Canada be the guinea pig.
5 posted on 01/03/2003 10:07:01 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: MrLeRoy
The survey of 1,400 adult Canadians showed 50 per cent either strongly or somewhat support decriminalization.

700 of 'em were stoned when they replied.

6 posted on 01/03/2003 10:11:03 AM PST by Drango
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To: DouglasKC
"It certainly says that we are a relatively liberal society on this issue," said Toronto pollster Michael Sullivan.

Yup.

Nope---unless he meant "liberal" in the classical sense. When William Buckley supports looser pot laws it can't be rubberstamped as a "liberal" (modern sense) issue.

7 posted on 01/03/2003 10:11:04 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: DouglasKC
One of the areas where liberals and Libertarians agree.
8 posted on 01/03/2003 10:11:19 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Drango
The survey of 1,400 adult Canadians showed 50 per cent either strongly or somewhat support decriminalization.

700 of 'em were stoned when they replied.

So you think that 50% of a random sampling of Canadians is stoned?

9 posted on 01/03/2003 10:12:06 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: robertpaulsen
One of the areas where liberals and Libertarians agree.

Another one being the advisibility of breathing air.

10 posted on 01/03/2003 10:12:46 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: AppyPappy
Hell, I'll buy the concept if the legalization crowd can guarantee that the general populace will never have to foot any costs associated with idiots who let drugs ruin their lives and every state legalizes and encourages weapons ownership so said populace doesn't need to wait for local LEO's to save them from interactions with said idiots...
11 posted on 01/03/2003 10:14:13 AM PST by Axenolith
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To: AppyPappy
I'm all in favor of letting Canada be the guinea pig.

Several US states have already decriminalized---some of them for years. I'm unaware of any evidence that those experiments failed.

12 posted on 01/03/2003 10:14:31 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: Axenolith
Using one violation of rights (taxpayer-funded rehab) as an excuse for another violation of rights (banning drug use) is not a conservative argument.
13 posted on 01/03/2003 10:15:44 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: MrLeRoy
the amount who approve is WAY higher...its' just that they forgot...

bye bye statists...looks like the game is over. the US may as well legalize it. In 2 years we will have such mind blowing hydro from vancouver, the statists don't want to miss out on their tax revenue.

14 posted on 01/03/2003 10:16:48 AM PST by galt-jw
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To: Axenolith
Do you HONESTLY think the federal government will legalize marijuana while they are outlawing tobacco?
15 posted on 01/03/2003 10:16:51 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: MrLeRoy
So you think that 50% of a random sampling of Canadians is stoned?

Nahhhhhh it's gotta be higher than 50%. Otherwise they wouldn't have French as an official language.

16 posted on 01/03/2003 10:17:09 AM PST by Drango
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To: MrLeRoy
"50 per cent either strongly or somewhat support decriminalization"

This could be:
Strongly Support: 2%
Somewhat Support: 48%

Big difference. Any more info on the survey? Like a further breakdown of results or exact wording of the questions?

17 posted on 01/03/2003 10:17:11 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Axenolith
said populace doesn't need to wait for local LEO's to save them from interactions with said idiots

Addicts commit crimes to get the money for their expensive-becasue-illegal drugs. If drugs were legal, you'd have no more to fear from addicts than you do now from alkies.

18 posted on 01/03/2003 10:17:53 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: galt-jw
Actually, we had the same thing with Cuban cigars. You'll note the federal government didn't cave.
19 posted on 01/03/2003 10:17:54 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: MrLeRoy
Further proof that Liberalism has polluted the minds of 50% of the population!
20 posted on 01/03/2003 10:19:08 AM PST by Destructor
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To: robertpaulsen
This could be:
Strongly Support: 2%
Somewhat Support: 48%

In which case the bulk of the opposition would most likely be "somewhat".

21 posted on 01/03/2003 10:25:14 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: MrLeRoy
They might as well.....I don't think it's worse than alcohol. A drunk or a pot head....no differences that I see.
22 posted on 01/03/2003 10:28:19 AM PST by Sungirl
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To: MrLeRoy
I'm not using it as an arguement, my point is that regardless of all the pro\con legal and constitutional arguements, as it stands, legalization will be used to saddle us with more "crisis" and consequent costs (not just existing rehabs) and safety considerations. It will be a LOT easier to get it to fly if there is some form of insurance that the legalization is not going to significantly affect non users and taxpayers pocketbooks and safety and that it will be impossible for it to in the future.

23 posted on 01/03/2003 10:31:05 AM PST by Axenolith
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To: Axenolith
The pro-legalization crowd will promise and guarantee you anything to get you to buy the concept. Just look at all the benefits of medical marijuana. Hell, the next best thing to penicillin!

Plus, you drive more carefully, can do your job even if you test positive, can never die from using marijuana, safer than alcohol or tobacco (even though you smoke pot - nevermind that), you only hurt yourself (not your loved ones, as with alcohol), doesn't lead to harder drugs (honest, ask them), and ..and ..they forgot the rest.

24 posted on 01/03/2003 10:31:29 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: AppyPappy
I guess you havent heard about the plans to lift the embargo....

(not a lot of tax revenue is to be gained from the minority of cigar smokers, anyway.)

25 posted on 01/03/2003 10:33:34 AM PST by galt-jw
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To: AppyPappy
They won't outlaw tobacco until the revenue potential of prohibited tobacco exceeds that generated by the currently legal means, and we still have a ways to go before that...

26 posted on 01/03/2003 10:34:43 AM PST by Axenolith
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To: Sungirl
A drunk or a pot head....no differences that I see.

I know of two:


27 posted on 01/03/2003 10:36:01 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: Axenolith
legalization will be used to saddle us with more "crisis" and consequent costs (not just existing rehabs) and safety considerations.

Only if we let it.

It will be a LOT easier to get it to fly if there is some form of insurance that the legalization is not going to significantly affect non users and taxpayers pocketbooks

I'm all for that.

28 posted on 01/03/2003 10:37:33 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: MrLeRoy
Got two from my list.
29 posted on 01/03/2003 10:38:25 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: MrLeRoy
When I'm sampling underneath a freeway overpass or offramp in San Francisco I am wary of both the addicts and alkies, because the former are disease ridden and strew their needles around and both are frequently raving, sometimes violent lunatics.

The cost of either groups crutch doesn't have anything to do with their mental state.
30 posted on 01/03/2003 10:39:43 AM PST by Axenolith
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To: robertpaulsen
you drive more carefully, can do your job even if you test positive, can never die from using marijuana, safer than alcohol or tobacco (even though you smoke pot - nevermind that), you only hurt yourself (not your loved ones, as with alcohol), doesn't lead to harder drugs (honest, ask them)

You will, of course, be posting the evidence that disproves these alleged claims.

31 posted on 01/03/2003 10:40:00 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: Axenolith
When I'm sampling underneath a freeway overpass or offramp in San Francisco

What motivates you to frequent such places?

32 posted on 01/03/2003 10:41:41 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: robertpaulsen
Got two from my list.

Is there any evidence that any pot user has ever ODed or been made violent?

33 posted on 01/03/2003 10:42:45 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: Destructor
Further proof that Liberalism has polluted the minds of 50% of the population!

Indeed. 50% still accept the liberal notion that the government owns their lives and bodies. Fortunately, the tide is turning.

34 posted on 01/03/2003 10:43:52 AM PST by ThinkDifferent
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To: robertpaulsen
As long as they put those guarantees as I quoted them in legislative writing.

But one of my subtle points is that they'll never do that because not having people pay "for the down trodden" and having a well armed populace are anathema to them...
35 posted on 01/03/2003 10:44:52 AM PST by Axenolith
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To: robertpaulsen
One of the areas where liberals and Libertarians agree.

And the New Deal "substantial effects" Commerce Clause is one of the areas where liberals and pro-drug war "conservatives" agree.

36 posted on 01/03/2003 10:45:06 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: MrLeRoy
When William Buckley supports looser pot laws it can't be rubberstamped as a "liberal" (modern sense) issue.

Except Canada is not a classical liberal society.

37 posted on 01/03/2003 10:47:08 AM PST by Hacksaw
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To: Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; headsonpikes; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; Xenalyte; ...
WOD Ping
38 posted on 01/03/2003 10:47:37 AM PST by jmc813
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To: Hacksaw
Canada is not a classical liberal society.

In regard to pot, they're moving in that direction.

39 posted on 01/03/2003 10:48:56 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: Axenolith
I'll buy the concept if the legalization crowd can guarantee that the general populace will never have to foot any costs associated with idiots who let drugs ruin their lives

An understandable concern, but you also have to take into account the enormous amount we're spending today on enforcement of drug laws and imprisonment of drug offenders.

40 posted on 01/03/2003 10:50:41 AM PST by ThinkDifferent
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To: MrLeRoy
What motivates you to frequent such places?

Being a geologist for an environmental services firm that does a lot of work for Caltrans (sampling for aerially deposited lead in the surface and just about anything you can think of in the subsurface prior to construction or retrofit work on freeway structures).

Nothing quite drives home the magnitude of SF's "homeless" lunacy than having your driller say "don't step backward or you'll need a hepatitis shot" and turning to see that pile of dirt you saw out of the corner of your eye is actually a 2-3 foot pile of human excrement and TP up against the abutment...

41 posted on 01/03/2003 10:53:28 AM PST by Axenolith
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To: ThinkDifferent; Axenolith
you also have to take into account the enormous amount we're spending today on enforcement of drug laws and imprisonment of drug offenders.

And the loss of tax revenue when productive people are put in prison---or shot in drug-turf battles.

42 posted on 01/03/2003 10:53:38 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: MrLeRoy
Is there any evidence that any pot user has ever ODed or been made violent?
------
One of my college roomates comes to mind.
43 posted on 01/03/2003 10:54:38 AM PST by Axenolith
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To: Axenolith
Nasty ... but it doesn't have much to do with your statement about the populace needing guns to save them from drug users.
44 posted on 01/03/2003 10:55:14 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: Axenolith
Is there any evidence that any pot user has ever ODed or been made violent?
------
One of my college roomates comes to mind.

Tell on---which did he do?

45 posted on 01/03/2003 10:56:07 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: robertpaulsen
One of the areas where liberals and Libertarians agree.

For entirely diferent reasons.

EBUCK

46 posted on 01/03/2003 10:59:25 AM PST by EBUCK
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To: AppyPappy
Do you HONESTLY think the federal government will legalize marijuana while they are outlawing tobacco?

Watch the tobacco companies switch to pot and start lobbying Congress ;-)

47 posted on 01/03/2003 10:59:33 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: MrLeRoy
One of those same types of folks, albeit not quite as low on the human scale of degradation, hopped on BART and came out to my town and butchered a woman in her home a couple of years ago for the pleasure of it.

Like I said, I'll buy into it if the cost is guaranteed to be at least a net zero and the rest of folks get the means to defend themselves from the users even if there is debate over whether that threat is real or percieved. We don't need to argue over those concepts, pro legalizers will probably get what they want if they legislatively insure those two concerns.

48 posted on 01/03/2003 11:03:42 AM PST by Axenolith
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To: Axenolith
I'll buy into it if the cost is guaranteed to be at least a net zero and the rest of folks get the means to defend themselves from the users even if there is debate over whether that threat is real or percieved.

Do you support the legality of alcohol? If so, have you received guarantees on cost and safety?

49 posted on 01/03/2003 11:09:14 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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